A dynamic is a tendency powered by natural needs and drives, and the incentives that pertain to them. Of course, there’s quite a bit of static thrown about concerning what’s natural and what isn’t. However, the people who claim that drives built into our bodies and minds are merely the consequences of our upbringing or figments of our “early socialization” have been on a losing streak ever since they first opened their mouths. Among other things, they tend not to reproduce.
But let’s get back to dynamics. Example: human beings need to eat. That propels Man’s quest for food. However, food isn’t the only thing we need or want. We seek security, including a clean, vermin-proof place to store our as-yet-uneaten food. Therefore, we build or acquire pantries. But then we need the means to defend ourselves and our pantries, which propels a quest for weapons. This specialization dynamic allows us to become efficient at acquiring things we need or want other than food and pantries.
But everything has a downside. Specialization is no exception:
As they exited the tree-lined corridor from the commercial strip and turned onto the pathway to Morelon House, Althea halted her husband and turned to face him. “I can’t figure out what he’s planning, can you?”
Martin gazed at her ruefully. “I’ve been thinking about that and nothing else, love. But I’m dead certain it’s nothing we’d enjoy.”
“So what now?”
He grimaced. “I don’t know. Postpone the trip, for sure. How to get our initial load up to Thule? Frankly, I don’t think we have much choice. Our clan had heavy-lift capacity at one point, didn’t it?”
She nodded. “Yeah, but we sold the plane when Adam’s dad set up shop here. Charisse said she was happy to get rid of it. It made more sense to hire it out, so we wouldn’t have to maintain a plane and train pilots.”
She glanced at the entrance to Morelon House. The old mansion looked as sturdy as ever. It presented an appearance of immutable strength to all who saw it. Yet it had begun to seem to her that the clan had undermined that strength in several ways, with several decisions. None of them had been fatal; indeed, when each was made, it had appeared to be the obvious choice. Yet in combination, they had rendered Clan Morelon massively dependent upon the wills and skills of a multitude of outsiders…persons who might not be as available or dependable as one would hope.
—That’s the downside of the division of labor, Al.
Yeah. I can see that, Grandpere. But how could we have avoided it?
—By resisting all the temptations to specialize and to make use of specialists. By purchasing absolute self-sufficiency at the price of economic advantage. Which, incidentally, no clan or society known to history has ever managed to do.
The incentives are too strong, aren’t they?
—Judge for yourself, dear. Put yourself in Charisse’s place at the point when Jack Grenier moved into the area and started offering his services around. Would you have done as she did, knowing only what she did at the time?
Probably. If there’s a lesson in this—
—If there is, Al, no one has ever drawn it. The division of labor is the one and only path toward general prosperity. It can go to an incredible depth. A frightening depth. And it is utterly reliant upon the character and good will of the specialists. Let one critical specialty be corrupted by political forces, or conceive of a grudge against some other group, or even decide that it can rape its customers without fear of reprisal, and the destruction spreads faster than anyone can act to check it.
[From Freedom’s Scion]
The notion that we can excise the downside of a dynamic, leaving it cost, risk, and trouble-free, is fatuous. Ralph Waldo Emerson told us so:
The ingenuity of man has always been dedicated to the solution of one problem — how to detach the sensual sweet, the sensual bright, etc. from the moral sweet, the moral deep, the moral fair; that is, again, to cut clean off this upper surface so thin as to leave it bottomless; to get a one end, without an other end. The soul says, Eat; the body would feast. The soul says, The man and woman shall be one flesh and one soul; the body would join the flesh only. The soul says, Have dominion over all things to the ends of virtue; the body would have the power over things to its own ends.
And he has never been refuted.
Among the uber-dynamics that shape human societies is this one: We prefer to be among our own kind. That statement has many possible interpretations, of course. It pertains to race, to sex, to intellect, to ethnic origin, to religious creed, to occupational and interest affiliations, and much more. Each of those things operates to “sort” us into groups. Each such group will possess some degree of internal cohesion. That an individual may be a member of several such groups simultaneously does not undercut the power of the dynamic.
Among the follies of recent history, the attempts of bien-pensants to disperse such groups, or to force them to accommodate persons who are not naturally candidates for membership, are among the most foolish. They’re trying to oppose a dynamic with nothing but their political preferences. It hasn’t worked in the past and it has little chance of working in the future.
One fascinating and ominous dynamic-versus-dynamic tableau is of particular importance to the United States at this time: the opposition of American social and cultural norms to the pressure outsiders seeking greater economic attainment have mounted against our borders. It’s not that America has never accommodated waves of immigrants before. From the end of the Civil War to about 1926, our national borders were open. We admitted huge numbers of immigrants, many of them from countries whose norms were not an exact fit to ours. However, those immigrants had a great deal in common with the original population wave that founded this country: a willingness to brave the unknown on their own merits and to conform to the norms of the host country. Those qualities weakened the ethnic-cohesion tendency sufficiently to permit assimilation.
Let it suffice to say that the willingness of those earlier immigrants to assimilate is not shared by the torrent of invaders that have poured across our borders these past few decades. That hasn’t impeded the efforts of the pro-open-borders activists, who proclaim the moral right of anyone who wants to come here to do so. Of course, those activists have an agenda of quite another sort, but that’s a subject for another tirade.
The course of history indicates that for two cultures to meld successfully, one culture’s norms must dominate, at least to a degree sufficient to ensure public peace and order. Today, that is not observably the case.
The most pernicious of all dynamics is this one: There are men whose central drive is to exploit others for their personal benefit. Such men will eschew any other interest, no matter how imperative, to pursue that end. In our time, this has given rise to the phenomenon of the chaotist: he who promotes inter-group discord, sometimes to the point of mass public violence, to achieve his personal ends.
Chaotists, like other affinities, tend to cluster together. They’re seldom seen “on the front lines” when chaos erupts. They hang back and rake in the gains that emerge: primarily in increased public prestige and material perquisites. Those gains are made possible by the understandable if regrettable tendency of others to appease the disorderly. Quoth Mark Steyn:
If it were just terrorists bombing buildings and public transit, it would be easier; even the feeblest Eurowimp jurisdiction is obliged to act when the street is piled with corpses. But there’s an old technique well understood by the smarter bullies. If you want to break a man, don’t attack him head on, don’t brutalize him; pain and torture can awaken a stubborn resistance in all but the weakest. But just make him slightly uncomfortable, disrupt his life at the margin, and he’ll look for the easiest path to re-normalization. There are fellows rampaging through the streets because of some cartoons? Why, surely the most painless solution would be if we all agreed not to publish such cartoons.
That tendency to prefer appeasement to open combat operates another dynamic. It’s reached a critical point in these United States: Virtually nothing a chaotic group says or does in public will trigger an oppositional response of size and violence sufficient to quell it and put an end to its power to disrupt our society. The “George Floyd” riots and similar events have brought us to the point that a militant minority can get away with virtually anything – and with a reasonable expectation of being rewarded for it.
Whether chaotists could have reaped similar gains in the post-Civil-War years of unlimited immigration is unclear. Those waves of immigrants were far closer to the American populace in their most important convictions and attitudes: crudely speaking, the Christian-Enlightenment ethic. However, there were Communist agents active in the U.S. early in the Twentieth Century who aimed their labors principally at minority groups – immigrants among them. Their efforts were not entirely in vain, as the racial chaos that bedevils us testifies.
Among the most important tactics of the chaotist is his ability to persuade his audience that, in brief, Emerson was wrong – that it is possible “to detach the sensual sweet, the sensual bright, etc. from the moral sweet, the moral deep, the moral fair.” He doesn’t say it quite that way, of course. Rather, he attributes the higher attainments of members of other groups to villainy: i.e., to discrimination. This tactic is effective on those who are less intelligent, observant, and experienced than average.
I shan’t go into yet another diatribe about objectively measurable differences among the races and ethnicities as regards intelligence and aggression. You’ve read enough of that from me, I’m sure. What should have become obvious by now – damn, how I hate to use those words – is that social chaos is one of the results from denying those objective realities. Indeed, were it not for those differences, I can’t see a way for the chaos crews to get started.
What will come of this seems plain: we will once again segregate along racial and ethnic lines. There will be white, black, Hispanic, Asian, and other districts. Intergroup socialization will be minimized; intermarriage will grow rare. This time around, it will be a wholly private movement that will operate “under the table,” as the law is unfriendly to the idea and likely to attempt countermeasures. Nevertheless, it will happen. Social peace is unachievable as long as disparate groups are forcibly mingled; the chaotists will see to that.
Similarly, though its implications are more complex, we will see a return to approximate occupational segregation by sex. The attempts to force women into men’s occupations have produced a great deal of unhappiness among men, women, and employers. Most men are uncomfortable about having women as colleagues, owing to the sexual tensions that arise. Most women are equally disturbed by those tensions, but respond to them in a different manner. Employers who’ve had to placate Equal Employment Opportunity committees at the state and federal levels have seen workforce harmony disrupted and productivity reduced. But here as with race and ethnicity, the thing is grist for the chaotist’s mill.
The major problem, of course, is the chaotists. In one sense they’re an unnatural breed, for the social discord the foment counters nearly everything decent persons want and seek. But their perversion is natural to them. That they’re few in number doesn’t alter that, nor does it diminish the power they can wield.
But even were the chaotists zero in number, their extermination would not solve the problems that governments have brought about by attempting to force disparate groups that answer to different social norms to intermingle. Another group of troublemakers, professional politicians, must be expunged quite as completely as the chaotists. Their drive for power causes them to ally with others who seek to use strife for personal gain, for to the politician, the gain to be sought above all else is in power over others. This too is in his nature.
On this earth that we occupy in the here and now, there’s no other way toward an acceptable degree of public peace. It’s that or wait for a convenient planetoid.